When looking at the cards trying to decide what to put in your deck, it is easy to be surprised by the high cost cards. The problem is that without the right amount of inexpensive cards, the big dogs will never see you play.
You need a reasonable number of cards that cost 3 or fewer resources with a single loyalty symbol on the board. Our playgroup has named these First Turn Cards (FTC) *.
To create a balanced deck, you need to have a large inexpensive card base that allows you to start getting cards and resources early. This is why cards like Warpstone Dig (a zero-cost neutral support card that provides 1 hammer) are on the restricted list.
Warpstone Excavation is a free hammer that, when played early, can generate 5 to 7 resources or cards within the scope of a game. The inexpensive cards are huge to help you develop a presence on the board before your opponent. Below is my Dark Elf / Undead Deck that I plan to bring to Gen Con for the tournament. This deck works by sacrificing its own units for effects, so it costs a little lower than most, but it still serves as a good example.
Units(number x cost + loyalty, bold indicates FTC)
3 times 0____ Veteran Sellswords
3 times 0 + 1L Traveling sacrifice
3 times 1 + 1L Dark initiate
3 times two____ Crypt ghouls
3 times 2 + 1L Dwarf slavs
3 times 2 + 2L Essence Thief
3 times 2 + 2L Vile sorceress
3 x 5____ Mr. Wight
3 x 6 + 3L Monster from the deep
21 FTC Units
3 times 0____ Warpstone Excavation
3 times one____ Disputed town
3 times 2 + 2L Slave pen
12 FTC Support
3 x 0 + 3L Whip the prisoner!
3 x 1 + 2L of dark visions
3 x 1____ Warpstone Experiments
2 x 2____ Burn it
3 x 2 + 2L Sacrifice to Khaine
As you can see, out of a 50-card deck, 33 of the cards can be played on turn 1 to earn me resources and cards for future rounds. That’s 66%, which means that it is likely that 4-5 cards can be played from my starting hand not counting the mulligan. The Dark Elves are an extreme example, as I said earlier, as many of these units are sacrificial meat. As a generic wait rule, I would use the following numbers as a starting point:
26 pcs. — 13 FTC
12 Support – 9 FTC
This gives you 22 FTC that comprise 44% of your deck. On your first draw, 3 of your 7 cards should be playable without counting your mulligan.
When you start to think about the odds of drawing the cards you need, the importance of a 50-card deck becomes even more important. Always keep this in mind when building your decks and be selective when choosing your cards. You can always take it out and try something else, but throwing a bunch of cards together doesn’t give any of them a chance.
- First turn cards